In this series, the Andersen Law PC blog is spelling out the 12 steps of divorce on month at a time. The intent is to walk you through the process one simple step at a time. This month, we cover Step 5 of Divorce: Discovery and Depositions.
(To see the process in a more personalized, real world context, follow the blogs on the Aingel and DeVille families: the Aingels relatively soaring through the process while the DeVilles crash and burn.)
To discuss your specific situation, feel free to call us at 720-922-3880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.
Here is where the next several months will take us:
1 – serving and filing a petition for dissolution
2 – responding to the petition
3 – sworn financial statement, disclosures, and parenting classes
5 – discovery and depositions
6 – professionals: CFI, PRE, vocational evaluator, appraisals
7 – motions to compel and telephone conferences
8 – temporary orders
9 – mediation
10 – parenting plans and separation agreements
11 – witnesses, pretrial deadlines and permanent orders
12 – QDROs and other post decree issues
12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 5 – Discovery & Depositions
In Step 5 of the divorce process, the paperwork continues as you will need to serve discovery on your spouse. This is where you (and your soon to be ex-spouse) will explicitly ask for documentation for items such as financial statements in order to divide assets and debt, allocate alimony and child support, divide parenting time, and more. You and the other party will have 35 days to respond with all requested documentation.
If you or the other party do not respond, the court may impose sanctions — forms of punishment. The court also looks poorly on the party who chooses to not respond, which can affect the results of the divorce should you go to trial.
How to Serve Discovery
When one party serves discovery on the other, there are two ways to seek information: INTERROGATORIES are questions and DOCUMENT REQUESTS are written requests to the other party asking them to provide copies of documents.
A good place to start is with the Colorado judicial forms for PATTERN INTERROGATORIES AND DOCUMENT REQUESTS for divorce. (Forms 35.4 and Form 35.5).
You and the other party may only request information relevant to your case, and during this process, both parties are under oath.
When a Deposition is Necessary
Following discovery, you may choose to have a DEPOSITION where you will be able to ask questions to another party aside from your spouse. These are recorded, typically via video, and transcribed. In a straightforward divorce with both parties cooperating, these are rarely necessary.
In the event of a deposition, experts may be brought forth for specific topics, specifically where agreements between you and your spouse cannot be made. Again, only questions relevant to your case may be brought up, and your attorney can object to any irrelevant questions.
For a free consult on your divorce case, contact Andersen Law PC at 720-922-3880. You can also check out our related blog posts, Facebook page and YouTube videos, and sign up for our monthly newsletter. All of these are chock full of information that can help you navigate divorce and other family law issues.